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Brainstorm (1983)


Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 10
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 1
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 1


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 6,756



Movie Info

A scientist has been experimenting with a brain-reading device that can read a person's brainwave and translate it to videotape. When he wants to translate the brainwaves of his recently deceased partner, his superiors and several government agency types are seriously opposed to it.

PG (adult situations/language, violence)
Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Bruce Joel Rubin , Robert Stitzel , Philip Frank Messina
In Theaters:
Aug 22, 2000
MGM Home Entertainment


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Critic Reviews for Brainstorm

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (6) | DVD (8)

This doomed effort fails to generate much excitement either visually or conceptually.

Full Review… | August 8, 2012
Creative Loafing

A mess, but an interesting mess . . .

Full Review… | July 16, 2012
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Outstanding special effects.

Full Review… | July 5, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Contrived mental bending looks dated.

June 15, 2005

A terrific sci-fi flick that features one of the best ending spectacle-sequences ever.

December 18, 2002

Beguiling premise and memorable execution

July 26, 2002
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Brainstorm


Brainstorm was simply just kind of okay when you stop to consider how great a movie about this concept of memory/emotional transference should have been. EVERY character in this movie was incredibly dull and half baked. The story was also weak and the only thing that really shined with Brainstorm was some of Douglas Trumbull's (the man responsible for 2001: A Space Odyssey's effects) direction. The fact that he changed aspect ratios to show the perspective of Christopher Walken and Louise Fletcher's invention in itself is almost worth the watch. The fact that Brainstorm is full of 2001 nods/ripoffs (one of the characters is named Hal for crissakes) kind of deflates it. I realize that Natalie Wood's death kind of crapped on the production as a whole but there's only so much you can blame on tragedy.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

From Douglas Trumbull, the man behind visual effects in such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Blade Runner comes Brainstorm. His only other notable directorial work before this was Silent Running, an ecological Sci-Fi thriller that was decades before its time. There's no argument that the man knows special effects, but that doesn't always translate into knowing how to direct actors. Some of the takes come off as awkward first take rehearsals and the dialogue can be thin at times.

Still, it's great to see Christopher Walken in one of the few lead roles in his career. Louise Fletcher is great as the head scientist fighting for control of her invention from the evil military forces who have come up with a new and exciting way to kill people. The film is also noted for being the final work of Natalie Wood who drowned during the production and blah blah blah. The main attractions of the film are cinematography and the special effects. The lights bouncing off of the silver tape, the virtual theater scenes, this button, that light, etc... All in all, Brainstorm remains a provocative sci-fi flick and should be seen once by all film fans.

El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

Not a bad sci-fi of scientists inventing a way of tape-recording mental events. There goes for the memory of actress Natalie Wood in her final movie.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

A sci-fi flick riddled with excellent ideas, executed rather well by the cast and interesting raw machines sfx and allucinations/first-person perspectives that is just too rigid on it's execution. The editing is so precise and analytical that makes it hard to follow these characters properly. The pacing is a bit off at times and the last "heist" segment just didn't cut it for me. Given the troubled production this movie had going, it's no surprise that there's a whole "let's just finnish this quickly" vibe going by, which is a shame cause this had the potential to have something special going like, say, Altered States for a broader audience. Missed opportunity.

Francisco  G.
Francisco Godinho

Super Reviewer

Brainstorm Quotes

Michael Brace:
Why do you have to die to let go?
– Submitted by Alannah D (2 years ago)
Michael Brace:
Look at the stars.
– Submitted by Alannah D (2 years ago)

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